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Discussion Starter #1
While not specifically answering the subject line, this video will give you an idea what kind of tests a vehicle must go through to have a tow rating, and what to watch out for when towing:

My take from this is, to have a tow rating the engineering team must consider all these test cases plus long term wear (extra time and effort), possibly need to design in bigger components (brakes, parking brake, cooling) which add weight (reduced range) and cost, then go through the testing process which also costs money. Looks like Chevy decided they wanted the Bolt to have longer range and lower cost rather than be rated to tow.
 

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Fascinating. Thanks for posting this!
 

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I've never actually towed anything heavier than a sunfish. Even with the associated gear and a waterlogged hull, it was less than 300lbs. I probably would not tow 2,000 lbs with the Bolt. But I would have no hesitation to tow 500-1,000 lbs with the car.
 

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The Bolt is so heavy that a class I trailer shouldn't affect handling much. But I would keep it under a half ton total to not affect handling, based on my experience towing frequently with my Outback (rated 2k) or Focus Wagon (rated 1k). These weigh less than a Bolt. This assumes the back of the Bolt is strong enough to not be damaged but so far no one has posted re that question.

Of course battery consumption will increase drastically towing with very much weight, or wind resistance. Battery or driveline overheating? Braking capacity? The car is designed to climb mountain grades without issue so I wouldn't expect a problem if the Bolt is driven gently.
 

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I wouldn't expect too much difference in battery range depending on how well the trailer tucks behind the vehicle, and the overall shape. When I pull an empty trailer with sidewalls up on the Prius, MPGs plummet as the empty cavity creates tremendous drag. With the walls down, or a full load, the Prius hardly notices. The extra power required to get it going gets mostly regained when slowing.
 

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In many cases, it's not how much the vehicle can pull... but how much load the vehicle can effectivly brake in a panic stop situation from 60mph.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I recently towed a 5x8 utility trailer with a light load and back gate down, going 100 km/h for 200 kms, my energy consumption went up 25%-30%. With the back gate up though it was more like 40%-50%.
 

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In many cases, it's not how much the vehicle can pull... but how much load the vehicle can effectivly brake in a panic stop situation from 60mph.
The smart tower will allow extra distance in front of him to compensate for the reduced braking performance.
 

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It wouldn't stop me from putting a class I hitch (up to 2,000lbs) and towing with it anyway.
2000lbs is a LOT to tow. A 1000 lbs is comfortable for a mini-van rated for 3000 lbs, but 2000 lbs puts a strain on things. For a Bolt I wold not tow at all, but certainly not above a few hundred pounds.
 

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The smart tower will allow extra distance in front of him to compensate for the reduced braking performance.
There are a lot of stupid towers on the road - at least in California. I routinely see consumer pickups towing rather trailers (say, two jet skis) traveling well over 70 mph, running up pretty close to the car in front of them, and (far too often) slaloming between lanes (because they are going faster than the flow of traffic).

I also see "professional" pickups (4x6s) towing multi-1000 lb units well over the speed limit (which is 55 mph for any vehicle towing any trailer in CA). Last weekend I was passed (I was in the right-most lane on a 3-lane interstate, doing 67) by a monster 4x6 pulling a trailer that was at least 25 feet long and almost the width of the lane and the trailer was "wobbling" into the lanes on either side (right-to-left-to-right-to ...) since it was doing at least 75 and there was a 5-10 mph side-wind. I slowed down to 60 until it was at least a half-mile in front of me (so that I would have time to brake / avoid in case of accident).
 

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There are a lot of stupid towers on the road - at least in California. I routinely see consumer pickups towing rather trailers (say, two jet skis) traveling well over 70 mph, running up pretty close to the car in front of them, and (far too often) slaloming between lanes (because they are going faster than the flow of traffic).

I also see "professional" pickups (4x6s) towing multi-1000 lb units well over the speed limit (which is 55 mph for any vehicle towing any trailer in CA). Last weekend I was passed (I was in the right-most lane on a 3-lane interstate, doing 67) by a monster 4x6 pulling a trailer that was at least 25 feet long and almost the width of the lane and the trailer was "wobbling" into the lanes on either side (right-to-left-to-right-to ...) since it was doing at least 75 and there was a 5-10 mph side-wind. I slowed down to 60 until it was at least a half-mile in front of me (so that I would have time to brake / avoid in case of accident).
Yes, many believe that towing is no different than the way they always drive. They believe that all you need is more HP and all is well. They believe that right up until the crash.
 

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It hasn't stopped me towing ~800 lbs. I'm just conscious of the possible limitations.
Let's face it, the Bolt has towing capabilities! It's frustrating Chevrolet won't give us guidance. It seems all any of these manufacturers want to spend money on is advertising future vehicles. Frankly I believe the Battery is the weak link and the car is designed to optimize range for the capacity while adding a little fun factor with the HP and Torque. The range hit from towing means more battery cycles which becomes a degradation warranty issue. Look at the recovery eye location on the rear bumper and tell me it isn't designed to have a pulling force of over 5,300 lbs focused on one attachment point... a receiver hitch spreads that to two points ... 10,000 lbs? No but obviously the structure isn't the weak link. Braking? At 44,000 miles I don't think its a stretch to claim my 4 wheel disc brakes have finally broken in!
Check out the weight capacity sticker on your Bolt door frame and compare it to the CAT Scale ticket with only me (200 lbs) in the car. The short wheel base (length) is a minus which could be partially mitigated with a weight distributing hitch set up and trailer brakes, this car has a lot of capacity potential.
 

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